BollyBad 2011

Celebrating the worst of Bollywood

Mausam; Source: Wikipedia

Like every year, this year too I went into the theatre, weekend after weekend hoping to watch a good, enjoyable, Hindi film… Sadly, 2011 turned out to be amongst the worst years for Bollywood in the recent times. Not that the films didn’t make money, they did and in fact there were a record number of 100-crore earning blockbusters; but quality wise we got mediocrity at best. The high points of my movie watching experience were more to do with the food at the concession stand rather than spectacular cinema! Since I paid a lot to watch crappy cinema, let me get my money’s worth and celebrate the worst of Bollywood in 2011. Please note that I have not considered many films that no one cared to watch (except Anna Vetticad as part of her New Year resolution to watch all Hindi films in 2011) and may have missed out some delightful performances and gems there.

Zayed & Fardeen Honorary Award for Worst Performance (Male)

The nominees are:

  • Bobby Deol for his elementary school student like act in Yamla Pagla Deewana
  • John Abraham for his negligible acting in a blue negligee in 7 Khoon Maaf
  • Hrithik Roshan for his overacting in the otherwise wonderful, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (check out the scene where he does a video conference with his Japanese client)
  • Prateik in Aarakshan… he forgot that he was in a film and not in a road side nautanki; such indifference!

And the winners are Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn for RascalsKaancha Cheena and Bajirao Singham are better roles for them… I don’t understand, why they keep insisting on inflicting comic-pain on us? Tell Me O Kkhuda why?

Rascals; Source: Wikipedia

Mallika & Celina Honorary Award for Worst Performance (Female)

The nominees are:

  • Kangana Ranaut for going beyond her ‘You Beshterd’ signature line and giving us ‘Kwahterr Baawttle Vhodkha’ in Tanu Weds Manu
  • Asin for Ready… she’s still looking for her comic timing
  • Minissha Lamba for Bheja Fry 2; not her fault entirely as each character in this film was super irritating
  • Deepika Padukone for Aarakshan; so much Hindi and the role of a girl next door… this was too much to ask for

And the winner is Nargis Fakhri for Rockstar. Her spectacularly poor performance ensured that no one cared for her character in the film. She has the talent to give competition to Kangana, Katrina and Deepika all together in the poor dialogue delivery department.

Nargis Fakhri; Source: nargisfakhri.net

Kunderji’s Tees Maar Khan Award for the Worst Film-maker

The nominees are:

  • Samir Karnik for Yamla Pagla Deewana because the audience is not Tinku Jiya
  • Madhur Bhandarkar for Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji because even the child hearted did not like the film
  • Nikhil Advani for Patiala House and we are still surprised how he gets his films financed
  • Sagar Ballary for his insufferable Bheja Fry 2 because you don’t get lucky twice
  • Abhinay Deo for Game because film making is not children’s game
  • Anees Bazmee for Ready, a film so bad that the audience gave up and laughed along; he also made something called Thank You but no one watched it, so it’s ok
  • Pankaj Kapoor for Mausam, the epic bore story
  • Anubhav Sinha for ruining the big budget spectacle, Ra.One

And the award goes to Prakash Jha for Aarakshan, a film with a very interesting ensemble cast but very poor writing and performances. Jha is a film maker who once made hard hitting films that made us think; but Aarakshan was a lazy attempt to make big bucks at the box office by using the Raajneeti template.

Aarakshan; Source: Wikipedia

While these were the big winners, I have chosen some more deserving stars and films that made 2011 a forgettable cinematic year…

Wren & Martin’s Bad Punctuation Award to Gul Panag starrer, Turning 30!!! They thought that each punctuation mark represents a decade! We’d also like to felicitate Shahid Kapoor in this category for abusing exclamation marks, question marks and ellipses on Twitter. He also wins the Bad Spelling Award for misspelling ‘girl gang’ (for those not aware, Mr. Kapoor replaced the second ‘g’ in gang with ‘d’ in one of his tweets).

Mrs. Marino Hair Softener presents Bad Hair Day Award: The award goes to Shah Rukh Khan for his curly hair wig in Ra.One. He also wins the Itch Guard award for touching his (and Arjun Rampal’s) crotch in the film.

Realism in Cinema Award goes to Ragini MMS for showing a Maharashtrian ghost with subtitles on screen.

Khan Ke Aage Jeet Nahi Hai Bravery Award is jointly shared by Hema Malini and Himesh Reshammiya for releasing their films Tell Me O Kkhuda and Damadamm with Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One.

Tell Me O kkhuda; Source: Wikipedia

Uday Chopra Award for Never Give Up Spirit goes to Mimoh aka Mahakshay Chakraborty for making a comeback with Haunted 3D after the debacle of Jimmy. I am sure he will have a few more come backs and so will Jackky Bhagnani

Brain Tonic Song of the Year Award: we have a tie here also but the award goes to the same film… Damadamm’s ‘no toucheeing, no keesing’ and ‘I love you like mango’

Damadamm; Source: Wikipedia

Spielberg & Cameron Award for Best (Worst) Use of Technology in Indian Cinema: This year has been excellent in terms of technology for Hindi films… movies released in 3D and millions were spent on sophisticated special effects; but the most innovative and WTF use of technology award goes to the remote controlled killer helicopter in Bodyguard.

Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyon Honourary Mention for Most Innovative Film Titles:

  • Impatient Vivek
  • Love U… Mr. Kalakaar!
  • Bbuddhah… Hoga Terra Baap
  • Mummy Punjabi

Love U Mr Kalakaar; Source: Wikipedia

Kaayam Churan & Hindware Bath Fittings honour Dum Maaro Dum for thoughtful lyrics about bowel movement and an equal society… ‘Oonche se ooncha banda, potty pe baithe nanga’ (even the richest guys sit naked on the potty)

Kiye Karaaye Pe Paani Award for undoing all the good work, goes to the team of Ladies vs Ricky Bahl for ruining the memories of the fantastic, Band Baaja Baaraat. Another recipient of this award is Chitrangada Singh for her performance in Desi Boyz, making us forget Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi.

Naam Bade Aur Darshan Chhote Award for the most hyped yet disappointing film of the year: Shah Rukh Khan for Ra.One

Lifestyle Achievement Award, urging the recipient to spare the viewers… Govinda for Naughty @ 40

This was my list of the worst of 2011 in Bollywood and hope we have a better 2012…

– Shrey Khetarpal

PS: This article is the author’s expression of the suffering inflicted by poorly made films and filmmakers on paying audience. Should you disagree, please ignore it as a random rant; if you agree, do share your views and spread the word by clicking any of the share buttons below…

Don 2

The King is back… or is he not?

Don 2; Source: Wikipedia

Shah Rukh Khan’s second outing as Don may not be an edge-of-the-seat thriller but it has enough action and style to qualify as an average entertainer. Directed by Farhan Akhtar, Don 2 suffers from the same old Bollywood problem – a weak script (story & screenplay – Ameet Mehta, Ambrish Shah and Akhtar himself). Instead we are offered fancy locales, exciting stunts and oodles of style… oh, and of course, King Khan.

While the first Don (2006) was a remake of Amitabh Bachchan starrer of the same name (1978); it packed a lot more punch and a killer twist in the end as compared to its sequel. The biggest strength of the film is SRK who seems to enjoy playing the bad guy. He is effortlessly cool and sinister in most sequences but has some cringe-worthy moments towards the end where his ‘love-interest’, Roma is involved. Priyanka Chopra reprises the role of Roma, the tough Interpol cop who is still licking her wounds after being fooled by Don in the first film. She has nothing much to do in the film except being called ‘Jungli Billi’ (wild cat) by Don and a little am-a-cop-and-I-can-kick-ass sequence towards the end. Lara Dutta in her brief role steals Ms. Chopra’s thunder in the glamour department and sheer screen presence. Newcomer, Saahil Shroff sadly doesn’t get enough scope and other actors including Om Puri, Boman Irani and Kunal Kapoor are fine in their respective roles.

The film’s other strength is its style quotient for which the Akhtar siblings are well known for. Don 2 is the first Hindi film to be shot in Germany (Berlin) and naturally the locales look refreshing. There are some interesting stunts including SRK’s 300 metre jump from a skyscraper (though it pales in front of Tom Cruise’s Burj Khalifa adventures that we recently witnessed in MI4) and an elaborate car chase sequence where sponsor, Hyundai’s cars prove to be the best. There is an elaborate bank robbery meets 26/11-style hostage crisis sequence that forms the second half of the film. The actors’ styling in the film is quite impressive including Don’s menacing long-haired and un-kept look in the Malaysian jail, followed by well fitted jackets and over coats. Lara looks stunning while Priyanka has some off moments, including one where she chases Don in a slinky designer gown (costume: Jaimal Odedra; hair: Walter Dorairaj, Diane Commisariat). Cinematography by Jason West is also first grade with fantastic aerial shots of Berlin, Thailand and Malaysia.

While the film scores high on style, its slow pace and the length prove detrimental (editing: Anand Sobaya). Despite borrowing heavily from the first film’s soundtrack, music director trio of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy deliver a below average music score.

Overall, Don 2 disappoints and is certainly not a fitting return for the King. However, it is also not a bad film and is definitely a one-time watch for fans of the franchise and SRK.

My rating: * * * Three on five

– Shrey Khetarpal

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl

This is no Band Baaja Baaraat…

Pic: Yash Raj Films; Source: Wikipedia

From the makers of the super-fun, Band Baaja Baaraat (BBB) comes a not-so-fun film, Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl (LVRB). The latest Ranveer SinghAnushka Sharma starrer promised the same energy, attitude and excitement as the last year’s surprise hit, BBB but sadly failed to do so. It is certainly not a bad film but disappoints by being mediocre, coming from the same team that presented a crackling entertainer not so long ago. I hate to compare the two films but that’s how this film was promoted.

Directed by Maneesh Sharma, the film has an interesting first half where the stories of three women getting conned by the same guy are presented (story, Aditya Chopra; screenplay, Devika Bhagat). However, the second half gets predictable as these three hire another girl to con the original conman. While the plot is nothing new, the treatment could have made the film more engaging and fun. Ranveer Singh as Ricky Bahl who appears in the film in many other characters is good and his hard work shows on screen. Anushka (as Ishika Desai) is her usual confident, bubbly self but needs to break out of this mould in her future films as we’ve seen her do the same thing many times now. The supporting characters include three other actresses who have been cast well. Dipannita Sharma as a successful career woman, Raina Parulekar from Mumbai is good and so is Aditi Sharma who plays a soft spoken widow from Lucknow. But the real star of the film is Parineeti Chopra who owns every scene she appears in; she plays Dimple Chaddha, the spoilt daughter of a rich estate agent from Delhi. Habib Faisal (dialogues) has given her the best lines and she says them in an endearingly tacky manner (what we loved about BBB). I can promise you that the internet term for laughing out loud, ‘LOL’ will not remain the same for you once you’ve seen this film.

Another thing that does not work for the film is its music (Salim-Sulaiman). None of the songs are above average and act as good concession stand / loo breaks. Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl is a half baked attempt at a con film as the love angle ruins it. Bollywood or Yash Raj Films, can we not have a mean con artist film that is funny but without a sappy love story?

My rating: * * ½ two and a half on five

– Shrey Khetarpal

 

The Dirty Picture

Vidya Balan is Silk, and Silk is entertainment

The Dirty Picture; Source: Wikipedia

“Silk is the only hero in this industry”, says a film journalist in The Dirty Picture and after watching the film, I can also say, Vidya Balan is the only hero in the Hindi film industry. Not because she has ‘dared to bare’ but the conviction with which she’s played the character of Silk – a dancing star from the eighties who knows her sexuality is her biggest strength. While most actors claim to prepare for their roles, there is rarely a performance where an actor completely lets go of any inhibitions and becomes the character on screen. This is where Vidya wins; she looks good, she looks fat, she looks ugly, but she looks and behaves like the charater, Silk in the film.

Apart from Vidya, The Dirty Picture works because of its entertainment factor and Rajat Arora’s sassy writing plays a major role. The dialogues are provocative, shocking and dirty, true to the film’s name. Director, Milan Luthria packs a punch in the first half; however the film goes downward like the lead character’s career in the second half. It starts with a village girl, Reshma (Balan) coming to Madras with big dreams. She struggles, sleeps hungry and almost gives up, till someone offers her Rs. 20 to sleep with him. Her life changes, she gets a big break and the attention of the reigning superstar, Suryakant (Naseeruddin Shah). Silk’s journey to the heights of stardom is extremely entertaining and engaging where two other men appear in her life; Ramakant (Tusshar sans Kapoor), an upcoming writer in awe of her persona and Abraham (Emraan Hashmi), a director who hates Silk and what she stands for. The film soars in the first hour and a half but the last hour is poorly executed as suddenly you feel disconnected from Silk while you’re supposed to empathise with her.

Naseeruddin Shah once again delivers a spectacular performance as a manipulative and selfish star, for whom, women are just objects to entertain. He also has the best lines in the film and manages to match up to Vidya’s pizzazz in an elaborate dance number with kitschy costumes, over the top sets and raunchy moves. The song, ‘Ooh La La…’ is the film’s highlight (Vishal Shekhar – music composers); Bappi Lahiri and Shreya Ghoshal capture the mood perfectly with their vocals and lyrics by Rajat Arora. The other song that works is ‘Nakka Mukka’, which is borrowed (legally) from a Tamil film; it has a catchy beat and helps showcase Silk’sbombaat’ attitude at various intervals during the film. The rest of the soundtrack is nothing great. Coming back to the actors, Emraan Hashmi does a fairly decent job and proves that he can be taken seriously as an actor now. Tusshar tries hard but fades in front of Vidya and Naseer’s powerhouse performances.

The film’s costume designer, Niharika Khan deserves a special mention for capturing the tackiness and razzmatazz of that era and the characters. There is a lot of cleavage on show but I guess that’s another reason the makers (producer, Ekta Kapoor) chose Vidya as the leading lady – her traditional and family oriented off-screen image helped keep the focus on the character and not on the sleaze.

The Dirty Picture is a brave film and shows how Indian filmmakers and the censors have grown – a heroine centric film can be commercially successful and Indians can handle bold subject matter. Go watch the film for three things, as clearly articulated by Silk“entertainment, entertainment and entertainment”.

My rating: * * * ½ three and a half on five

– Shrey Khetarpal